Nepal and India should iron out differences and work towards strengthening their centuries-old ties as the Himalayan nation looks forward to attain economic prosperity through bilateral cooperation, former deputy prime minister Sujata Koirala said today.
“Nepalese people suffered a lot due to last year’s border obstruction which unfortunately happened at a time when the country was recovering from the devastating earthquakes that killed 9,000 people. We should forget the bitter things of the past and try to build relations in a dynamic way,” she said.
Although there are ups and downs in relations between Nepal and India from time to time, both the countries should make efforts to patch up differences and work towards strengthening the age-old ties as there is no other way round, said Koirala, the senior leader of Nepali Congress and chairperson of the GP Koirala Foundation.
“We need to take corrective measures to build up the centuries-old relations in new perspective by learning from the past. Nepal wants to harness its abundant hydropower potentials through cooperation and collaboration with India for attaining economic prosperity,” she said at a conference on Nepal-India relations organised by the foundation here.
“We should not take both the government to government and people to people relations between the two countries for granted,” Seshadri Chari, Director, Chronicle Society of India for Education and Academic Research, said, adding that the relations need to be nurtured from time to time.
“Last year’s border blockade that caused suffering to the Nepalese people was unwanted and it should not happen. Such an incident should not happen, although there is no official policy on the part of the government of India to create obstructions in southern borders of Nepal,” he said.
There is a need for continued dialogue, discourse and interactions at different levels between Nepal and India for clearing any misunderstanding between them, Chari said.
Last year, Madhesis, largely of Indian-origin, held protests which turned violent for five months in southern Nepal districts to oppose the new Constitution, claiming the federal structure incorporated in the new charter did not satisfy their demands.